Coming of Age in Mississippi

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The autobiography entitled Coming of Age in Mississippi by Anne Moody (born Essie Mae) is the story of her life as a poor African American girl coming of age in segregated Mississippi. She grew up in Wilkerson County, a rural county overflowing with poverty and racism. Both of her parents spent time working on plantations until her father left the family for another woman. Her mother then obtains a job working as a maid for several white families, in order to support her family. Throughout her childhood she battles discrimination and starvation in order to stay alive in one of the most racially segregated states in America. This autobiography extensively recaps Moody's life beginning at the age of four until her early twenties. Moody was both timid and curious as a young girl and was afraid to ask her mother questions about things going on around her. This leaves her on her own to learn the importance of race and gender in such a society. Her mother avoids confronting her because she believes society will never change. The first time Moody experienced the issue of racial differences head-on, was when she made friends with some white neighbors. They all decided to go to the movies but, when they arrived she learned that she could not sit with her white friends. "After the movie incident I realized that all of a sudden they were white, and their whiteness made them better than me. Their whiteness provided them with a pass to downstairs in that nice section and my blackness sent me to the balcony. Now that I was thinking about it, their schools, homes, and streets were better than mine," Moody thought to herself. Since she had never been exposed to such a situation, she did not know how to react. However, it did open her eyes to a new outlook on life that she was to blind too see before. As time progressed Moody entered High School were her knowledge of the racial discrimination in the world was broadened. Emmett Till, a fourteen-year old boy from Chicago, was...
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